OHS Class of ’62 had two 5-year lettermen

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News
Mike Long (left) and David Allgood (right) are two of the rare five-year lettermen at Okeechobee High School.

OKEECHOBEE — When the Okeechobee High School Class of 1962 graduated, they had two five-year lettermen in their ranks.

Mike Long and David Allgood both began their high school sports careers in eighth grade, and earned a letter in baseball at OHS for five years.

Both were recruited by longtime OHS baseball coach Johnny Mack Kinsaul.

In seventh grade, Mike was watching the OHS baseball team practice when he decided to suggest to the pitcher a different way to grip the ball. Mike demonstrated the grip and threw a few pitches to OHS catcher Wayne Cone. It was after that little demonstration that Wayne suggested to coach Kinsaul that he invite Mike to play the following year.

Mike was a lefthanded pitcher for the Brahmans and started his first game on the mound against rival Martin County. When not pitching, he played first base and later moved to the moved to outfield after throwing out his arm. Mike was on the 1962 basketball team that advanced all the way to the state tournament under coach Bobby Lamb.

Mike said some of his fond memories from his time playing sports include pitching a perfect game in Stuart Little League; the ’62 basketball season and state tournament, hitting two home runs in a game against Lake Placid, and witnessing a home run that was absolutely blasted over his head while playing left field.

That home run was hit by an Avon Park batter on the baseball field across from Central Elementary, which had no fence in the outfield. Mike said the ball was hit so hard over his head that it almost rolled to the gym at the high school, which is now the freshman campus. By the time he was able to hit the cutoff man, shortstop Alex Fulford, the Avon Park batter was already home.

David Allgood says he didn’t play much baseball before high school and just showed up at high school practice in the eighth grade. David says if you could catch and hit the ball, coach Kinsaul would let you play. David was also quarterback for the Brahman football team and played as point guard for the ’62 basketball team.

In reminiscing about his high school baseball career, David recalls hitting about .188 average in the eighth grade, but improved after that, hitting for a .500 average his junior year. He admits he wasn’t a power hitter like Mike, but could make contact and stretch a single into a double.

David enjoyed playing under coach Kinsaul saying he was a very good coach and really knew the game. After graduation, David joined the Air Force and served in the Philippines during the Vietnam War. After his enlistment ended in 1966, he settled in Kentucky and worked as an insurance salesman and manager.

Mike also says he really enjoyed playing for Johnny Mack, considering him a great role model and a father figure for him. After a medical discharge from the Air Force, Mike returned to Okeechobee and worked for many years with Henry Kelly at Family Homes.

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